Last month we made a small change to the series page as a commitment to making a distinction between the driver for a project and the driver of a series. The drivers of a project have the power to make the decision of what features go into a release. But the driver of a series is special. Often a select number of individuals are delegated the awesome responsibility to define the intent of a series, manage all the milestones necessary to meet the goals, and to create the release. Series drivers are release managers.
When developers talk about the trusted persons who are making the release happen, they use the term release manager. While Launchpad recognised the role, it required the person also be a project owner, which is not always suitable for large projects. Release managers do not need the power to edit the project information, they need the power to edit the series information, create milestones, and release them. That is the power they now have.
A project owner can set a user, or a team as the series release manager from the series page. Project drivers also have the power to create a series; they have the power to start planning to be make themselves the release manger of the series they create.
Distribution have release managers too, they have the same responsibilities as project release managers, but giving them power is a bit tricky. For distributions other than Ubuntu, release managers will be able to create series and milestones, and edit their details just as a project release manager.
Ubuntu must be handled as an exception; the gift of Soyuz and Translations is also a curse. Many special tasks must be performed before an Ubuntu series can be register a series in Launchpad. The release managers for an Ubuntu series will have more power to edit the series details and milestones.